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A few tips for hiring your social media manager. You’re about to put your brand in the hands of someone else, on loudspeaker. This should be a thoughtful decision! Social Media is not graphic design, or web design, or SEO. It’s not an add-on to digital elements, and should be approached with an audience-driven point of view.

When your business is social, you’re putting it in broadcast mode. You’re giving your customers a resource for service. You’re creating your own channel for public relations. You’re supporting your community and network, exponentially. And of course, you’re selling. This is an incredibly valuable tool!  “How much?” is certainly not the first question you should ask.

First, research how they represent their own business socially. If they’re representing you on Facebook, they’d better have an active Facebook business page of their own. If they’re tweeting for you, they should have an active Twitter account of their own. What does their content look like? Is it interesting to you? How they represent their brand will be a reflection of how they’ll represent your brand. Do not accept “I’m too busy representing my clients to manage my own accounts.” as an excuse for poor social presence. Social media for business is hard, and effective time management is important, especially if they have clients other than you!

They don’t have a business online? If they have a business name, they should be online. If they’re applying as an individual, ask to see a business they currently represent. Social media for business is a completely different ballgame than personal social media. If they can’t present evidence of business experience, consider this a flag.

Ask your potential social media manager pertinent questions like:

How much time do you have to assign to my account? Excellent management requires at least 7 hours a week. Do they have a full time job and are they managing other’s social media as a side gig?

  •  What does good content look like to you? What will your strategy be?
  •  Do you have a business or sales background? An understanding of the importance of your brand, and the importance of sales generation and ROI is essential.
  • Tell me about the behaviour of audiences on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. A key indicator of a great social manager is their understanding of multiple platforms, and what the audience seeks there.
  • How will you handle conflict?
  • How will you gather content?
  • How will you report results?

And TRUST YOUR GUT. This is YOUR brand. If you aren’t being represented in the way you want, GET OUT. Don’t sign long term contracts with a social media manager, without a trial period. Don’t continue with bad content or management just because you have a contract. These aren’t bad ads that show up on the 27th page of the newspaper, that can be covered up with a toss into the recycle bin. This is brand exposure on steroids, and it has to be taken seriously.